Who's who: Ian Baker-Finch

  • Photo of Ian Baker-Finch
  • australia.png
  • Photo of Ian Baker-Finch
  • australia.png

Who's who: Ian Baker-Finch

  • Name:

    Ian Michael Baker-Finch
  • Country:

    Australia
  • Born:

    Oct 24, 1960 in Nambour, Queensland, Aus.
  • Original/Home Club:

    Beerwah GC, Queensland
  • Occupation:

    Professional golfer; TV commentator; golf course designer.
  • Turned Pro:

    1979

Roll of Honour

MAJORS (1): Open Championship (1991). Total professional wins (18), including Australasian Tour (11), Japan Tour (3), European Tour (2) and PGA Tour (2).

Golf course design

Baker-Finch's best known work includes, but is not limited to: Arabian Ranches, UAE (2001, with Nicklaus Design); Woodlands course, Bintan Lagoo, Indonesia (1997); Kennedy Bay, nr Perth, Aus (1998, with Michael Coate & Roger Mackay).

Did you know?

Baker-Finch began his professional career in style. In his first Australasian Tour event, the NZ Open, he recorded his first win. Regular wins on the Australasian Tour, with others in Europe, the US and Japan, culminated in his most memorable win at the 1991 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

Rather than his Open Championship victory being a springboard to further success, Baker-Finch's game went into a steady and accelerating decline over the next five years. An excellent game on the practice ground just refused to transfer to the golf course when it was needed. 50 great drives on the range would be followed by a snap-hook on the first tee. After shooting a 92 in the first round of the 1997 Open at Royal Troon, Baker-Finch quit tournament golf.

In place of grinding it out in tournaments, Baker-Finch has become a highly respected television broadcaster in the United States. He has also turned his hand to golf course design (IBF Design).

Top tournaments won by Ian Baker-Finch

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Baker-Finch, Ian

Score

274

Prize money

Title sponsor

Ford

Played as the Ford Australian PGA Ch'ship. Won by Ian Baker-Finch (Aus). [Concord GC, Sydney, Aus].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Baker-Finch, Ian

Score

276 (-12)

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Vines Classic (Jan 23-26; Aus Tr event). Second-placed Frank Nobilo (NZ) and Jeff Maggert (USA) finished 1 shot behind Ian Baker-Finch (Aus). [The Vines Resort & CC, nr Perth, Aus; composite of Lakes & Ellenbrook courses].

1991
Majors
272 (-8)
£90,000
R&A

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Baker-Finch, Ian

Score

272 (-8)

Prize money

£90,000

Title sponsor

R&A

The Open Championship (120th) (July 18-21). Second-placed Mike Harwood (Aus) finished 2 shots behind first-time major championship winner Baker-Finch (Aus). [Royal Birkdale GC, Southport, Merseyside].

1989
America
270 (-10)
$180,000
Southwestern Bell

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Baker-Finch, Ian

Score

270 (-10)

Prize money

$180,000

Title sponsor

Southwestern Bell

Played as the Southwestern Bell Colonial (May 18-21). Second-placed David Edwards (USA) finished 4 shots behind 28-year-old Ian Baker-Finch (Aus), who recorded his first PGA Tour win. [Colonial CC, Ft Worth, TX].

1988
Japan
Aso GC
282 (-6)
¥7.2million
Bridgestone

Category

Japan

Winner (holder)

Baker-Finch, Ian

Venue

Aso GC

Score

282 (-6)

Prize money

¥7.2million

Title sponsor

Bridgestone

Played as the Bridgestone Aso Open (Japan Tr event). Second-placed Tadami Ueno (Jpn) finished 1 shot behind Baker-Finch (Aus). [Aso GC, Aso, Kumamoto].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Baker-Finch, Ian

Score

278

Prize money

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Australian Masters. Won by Ian Baker-Finch (Aus).

1985
Europe
274 (-14)
£21,477
Scandinavian Enterprise

Category

Europe

Winner (holder)

Baker-Finch, Ian

Venue

Ullna

Score

274 (-14)

Prize money

£21,477

Title sponsor

Scandinavian Enterprise

Played as the Scandinavian Enterprise Open (Aug 1-4). Second-placed Graham Marsh (Aus) finished 2 shots behind Baker-Finch (Aus), who recorded the first of his two European Tour wins. [Ullna GC, Åkersberga, nr Stockholm, Sweden].

Category

Aus/NZ

Winner (holder)

Baker-Finch, Ian

Score

280 (E)

Prize money

NZ$18,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the New Zealand Open (Nov 24-27). Second-placed Stuart Reese (NZ) finished 3 shots behind 23-year-old Baker-Finch (Aus), who recorded his first win as a professional. [Royal Auckland & Grange GC, Papatoetoe, Auckland; at the time known as Auckland GC, Middlemore].

Find a course

Or

Where2Golf Spotlight

Tournaments:
Solheim Cup: can Europe defend the most prestigious team trophy in women’s professional golf, when the 17th Solheim Cup is played out at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio (Sept 4-6).

Italian Open: Nicolai Højgaard recorded his first European Tour win (Sept 5), just a week after his twin brother Rasmus landed the European Masters title (Aug 29); the first brothers to win back-to-back on the European Tour.

Who's Who:
Patrick Cantlay: moved into the world top 5, after winning the final two FedEx Cup playoff events and scooping the $15 million first prize.

Trish Johnson: kept the Senior LPGA Championship trophy in European hands, with her second win in this event in its four-year history.

Latest Golf Course Updates

The San Roque Club: "... how best to revitalise a course that had previously been fit to play regular host to the European Tour’s qualifying school finals..." by Toby Ingleton.

New 27-hole golf complex to be built in southern Belgium
A new golf complex in southern Belgium, close to the border with Luxembourg, will start construction in June 2021.

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club "makes its tournament debut with the hosting of the Italian Open on the European Tour" by Richard Humphreys

Gamble Sands opens short course:
David McLay Kidd’s 14-hole QuickSands short course has opened for play at Gamble Sands in Brewster, Washington.

Travel

Discover the world's finest heathland courses located in Surrey / Berkshire

Popular videos

You can subscribe to the Where2Golf channel on YT if you like to see more video content. You'll find a "Subscribe" button on any of our YouTube videos. Or if you want a quick and direct access subscribe here. Once done, any new published videos will show up in your Subscriptions feed.

Ryder Cup 2021 at Whistling Straits

The Dutch Open 2021 at Bernardus

Bump Your Hips to Start the Downswing